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Ciria starts work on numerical modelling guidance

Construction research organisation Ciria has announced that it has gained industry support to develop new guidance on the use of numerical modelling in geotechnical engineering.

The guidance is being developed to address the rapid evolution in use of numerical modelling from an analysis tool to a design method, which is not currently included in current codes of practice.

The project is being led by GCG senior partner Kelvin Higgins and Mott MacDonald global practice leader Tony O’Brien with funding and expert support from Buro Happold, CGL, Highways England, HS2, OGI Groundwater, Robert McAlpine and Tensar.

“Nafems provides good guidance for geotechnical engineers experienced in numerical modelling but this new document will be aimed at project managers and those with less expertise in the technique,” said Ciria associate director Kieran Tully. “The Tensar representative involved with this project also worked on Nafems’ Validating Numerical Modelling in Geotechnical Engineering guidance, which will ensure our guide is complementary.”

According to Tully, the change from use of numerical modelling to a design tool and the lack of guidance means that there is still a lot of scope for individuals to use their own judgement. “For inexperienced users, this judgement may be insufficiently developed,” he added. Tully believes that new guidance is essential to establish the principles of good practice and methodologies

Full details of the content are currently being planned but the document is expected to include sections on competencies, training, model testing, evaluating input parameters and reporting.

Ciria hopes that the guidance, which will be 40 to 50 pages in length, will be published in summer 2018.

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